Home < Degrees < Medical Genetics

Medical Genetics

Administrative Unit:Pediatrics and Medical Genetics
College/School: School of Medicine and Public Health
Admitting Plans:M.S.
Degrees Offered:M.S.


The University of Wisconsin–Madison offers an M.S. degree in medical genetics specifically designed to train genetic counselors. The training program is fully accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. With the first class of genetic counselors matriculated in 1976, it is one of the most experienced programs in the United States.

The mission of the Genetic Counselor Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is to educate competent and compassionate genetic counselors who will successfully enter the genetic counseling workforce and be lifelong learners and leaders in the field.

To fulfill this mission, the program provides students with a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum that includes:

  1. A diverse clinical experience that fosters interdisciplinary relationships.
  2. Relevant research opportunities that encourage critical thinking and contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.
  3. An environment that promotes socially responsible practice.

The genetic counseling curriculum at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison is a carefully structured sequence of courses and clinical practicums scheduled over approximately 21 months. Courses include, among others, clinical genetics; cancer genetics; human cytogenetics; interviewing and counseling for the genetic counselor; family process, health and illness; and contemporary professional issues.

The clinic rotations are supervised by genetic counselors who are certified by the American Board of Genetic Counselors, and by clinical geneticists who are certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics.

The clinical practicums in genetic counseling are designed to acquaint the student with the practice skills required, protocols used, and professional issues encountered in genetic counseling. Clinical experiences are provided in a variety of settings, including pediatric, oncology, prenatal, metabolic, and others.


Acceptance for admission to the medical genetics M.S. program (genetic counseling) requires approval by the Graduate School and by the Genetic Counselor Training Program Admissions Committee. Students should have a strong background in biology, basic genetics, biochemistry, and one semester of calculus or statistics.

For more information: Graduate Admissions, Genetics and Medical Genetics, 1432 Genetics/Biotechnology Building, 425G Henry Mall, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-7729; haanstad@wisc.edu; www.med.wisc.edu/education/graduate-programs/genetic-counseling/main/26910.